Board Looks Ready to Approve African American Studies for Texas Public Schools

President Barack Obama is one of the people students are likely to study in an African American studies course Texas appears ready to approve. - FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS/MARC NOZELL
Flickr Creative Commons/Marc Nozell
President Barack Obama is one of the people students are likely to study in an African American studies course Texas appears ready to approve.
The Texas State Board of Education, which has long stood in the way of approving ethnic studies courses for public schools, appears ready to clear the way for an African American studies course.

After hearing input from dozens of educators, students and experts at a Wednesday public hearing, board members indicated readiness to green light an elective course for next year, according a Texas Tribune report. African American studies would not be a required class, however.

"We will be passing this," said board member Pat Hardy, a Fort Worth Republican, who once expressed skepticism about approving Latinx history courses.

The pending approval of an African American studies class suggests a significant shift is underway at the Republican-controlled board. In 2014, the board — which oversees school curricula and textbooks — voted down a proposal to create a Mexican American studies course, calling it divisive.

The board will now work to set standards for an African American studies curriculum, which will be modeled on an existing Dallas ISD class. A final vote is scheduled for April.

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